The lead N.Y. Times editorial for Saturday, March 8 takes a detailed and alarming look at what new unemployment figures really mean. If 5.7 million Americans who are waiting for jobs were included in the count, the actual national unemployment rate would have been 10 percent instead of 6.7 percent — more than 3 points higher. The Times calls for “long-run investments. ” More immediately, however, customer service jobs (see March 6 post) should be brought back to the U.S. Not everyone can work construction. Along with helping a wide range of the jobless, repatriated customer service would bring honor and good will to banks and corporations that have exported the well-being of the U.S. along with the paychecks of one-time tax payers.
The employment population ratio of 58.8 percent was unchanged, according to figures for February announced March 7.
It would so comforting to call a customer help line and talk to someone who can both speak and understand english. It would be so comforting also to actually speak to a person than be offered a ‘menu’ of topics from which to choose.
“Customer service” is intentionally, in many cases, where customer inquiries go to die.